St. Catharines and Burlington:
A Tale of Two Cities
on The Double Ontario Tour
We just finished the first leg of the tour in St. Catharine's at Brock University and at the Burlington Performing Arts Centre. Both cities were wonderfully welcoming - in St. Catharine's we played to 350 people, are largest audience yet! Burlington's audience was no less warm. Here are some photos from the road...
Viktor and Adam backstage in St. Catharines. Photo by Arif.
Two views of the stage in st. Catharines at Brock Univsersity: photos by Arif and Adam
Viktor and Arif outside the Burlington Performing Arts Centre. Photo by Adam
Old friend and great actor in his own right Christopher Grey and Adam in Burlington. Photo by Lacey Creighton
View of the opening night audience in St. Catharines. Photo by Sara Palmieri
Adam , Arif and Viktor in a talk back in St. Catharines. Photo by Sara Palmieri
Adam during Q to Q in St. Catharines. Photo by Arif
Adam's Touring Tips Vol. II:
Kindess From Stangers & Standing Ovations
It may sound a little trite or obvious but I'm happy to say it so it can be heard: the best way to deal with everyone on tour is kindness. Tours are stressful, there is a lot of money involved and you're often relying on the good will of people that you've never met before. I think that the golden rule, "do unto others...", is the greatest touring advice I can give.
It sounds simple but it's easy to forget. When you're stressed or you're disappointed in the way a presenter or your team is dealing with things you have to remember that you're all in it together and everyone wants to be on the same team. Everyone wants the spectacle to succeed.
And this feeling of being on the same team comes from you, from your personal interactions with your team and the venue. So, be kind and patient with your team. Go and introduce your self to the FOH staff, to the technicians, to the administrative team, to the director of the space, to the barista at the coffee shop next door even! A little smile and some warmth and courtesy go a long way on the road. And you'll feel better yourself.
And a quick note about standing ovations and applause in general: over three days we played four shows in both cities and garnered four standing ovations. I don't mean to brag about the standing ovation but when you're a stranger in a new town and you humbly offer work to fresh faces, curious and warm but a little apprehensive, the standing ovation is a beautiful expression of energy from the audience. In fact, it's more a reflection on the quality of the audience than the show itself. And I think that more companies need not be ashamed to let other people know when it happens. It's also a way of sharing information, to say, "Hey, in that city there is a great audience - don't disappoint them!".
Same goes for curtain calls. In Canada it seems to be the tradition to only do one or two curtain calls (whereas in some European places they go on for 15 mins!). I even see a lot of actors who are embarrassed by the second or third bow. But I'd like to quote a great teacher I had: the bow is not for you, it's for the audience. And the applause are as much for them as for you. It's their moment to respond, publicly, about how they felt. It's their time to express themselves as a group. If they want to keep clapping I think it's our duty to go back out. It's not to be vain, it's not narcissim, it's honouring their part of the audience/performer pact.
And PS: if they liked the show at the end of the bow politely thank them and ask them to tell their friends. Don't be afraid to remind them that word of mouth is the best way to get bums in seats. You be surprised how this can help sell tickets to successive shows.
Arif gets tender on Tinder
Golyadkin to the love of his life, Klara: "You must forgive me, I'm not one for fine phrases..."
Never one to shy away from social experimentation, Arif has made a Tinder account for the hero of our play, Golyadkin. Arif's Tinder Double, if you will...
Arif has vowed to converse writing only in the sweet words of Golyadkin himself.
We've been following Goly's amourous exploits since the tour started and while Goly may not have too much luck with the ladies in the play, in real life on social media his silver tongue seems to fare much better with the fairer sex...Golyadkin's sweet voice appears in blue, the colour of sweet melancholy:
Our next stop on The Double Ontario Tour: The Kingston Grand Theatre. Stay tuned for more misadventure.
The Double Ontario tour is made possible in great part from generous funding by the Ontario Arts Council's new Theatre Connects initiative.